Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Duo not dwelling on past

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald share a common goal at Wentworth this week - to hit straight back from a sight they did not enjoy seeing.

For McIlroy it was Charl Schwartzel wearing the Masters green jacket and receiving applause up on stage at the European Tour's awards ceremony on Tuesday night.

"It definitely hurt me a little bit," said the 22-year-old who went from four ahead to 10 behind with a nightmare 80 at Augusta last month. "It's tough, but I'm a big boy - I'll get over it."

For Donald it was Ian Poulter rather than him lifting the Volvo World Match Play title at the weekend - a victory that stopped him from becoming world number one for the first time.

"I felt I should have won and I didn't," said Donald. "I was down Sunday night and Monday thinking about it. Last week was a big chance."

Now they are part of the strongest field in the history of the BMW PGA Championship - all four major champions, all but the injured Padraig Harrington from last year's European Ryder Cup team and all but Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker from the world's top nine.

The world number one spot is again on the line. Not just involving Lee Westwood and Donald, but also German Martin Kaymer.

And, amazingly perhaps, Donald could even miss the halfway cut on Friday and take over at the top - if the other two have bad weeks as well.

It could also develop into a straight head-to-head between him and Lee Westwood, but what he most wants, of course, is to improve on his runner-up finish behind Simon Khan a year ago.

"I had the tournament kind of in my hands and I let it go on 17," the 33-year-old recalled. "I hit a horrible drive there, made seven and that was that."

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